Finding My Way Back Home

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Dear Kolkata,

We’re approaching the end of the year, and that means it’s time to come home to you. You’re known to be the city of joy in the whole of India; a city that not only enveloped me into her warm, loving arms, but also helped me grow into the person I am today. At 22 years old, I still find myself thinking of my car pulling into the congested car park of Russel Dhaba, trying to tactfully avoid the crowd of people walking in front of me. The morning cup of tea in the chai bhar (clay pot) at Sharma Tea Stall refreshes me as I sip from it way too enthusiastically, only to burn my tongue. The Christmas lights all over Park Street dance upon me while I walk towards Allen Park for the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Kids start caroling while wearing their reindeer ears, holding up red buckets for charity collection. The familiar smell of horses welcomes me as I go on a carriage ride all around Victoria Memorial (Queen Victoria’s memorial after her death).

Chai Bhar (Clay pots for tea)


So at this point if you’re wondering whether I’ve missed you, I think you’ve got my answer. It’s not just the little things about you that makes me want to hop onto that long flight back to you, but it’s also the people you’ve sheltered for me. You’ve made it possible for me to enter into a new year with my family and friends by my side. Do I mind travelling two whole days to reunite with you every 5 months of the year? No, because anything is worth seeing those happy tears in my mum’s eyes, the bear hug from my not-so-little brother, and the gratified smile on my father’s face, as I walk out of the airport gate.

Park Street (Near Kwality restaurant)

I cannot even begin to thank you enough for what you have groomed me to be. Thank you for teaching me the importance of family, for instilling in me compassion towards others, and for showing me that it’s okay to fly off to discover myself. No matter where I go when I spread my wings, I will always find my way back home to you.

I am forever grateful, and I cannot wait to reconcile with my motherland. See you sooner than you expect!

From your loving daughter,



Victoria Memorial